NACE Logo NACE Center Logo
National Association of Colleges and Employers NACE Center for Career Development and Talent Acquisition®
mobile menu
  • Few Employers Use “Big Data” for College Recruiting

    February 07, 2018 | By NACE Staff

    Trends & Predictions
    Recruiters analyze recruiting data.

    TAGS: operations, trends and predictions, surveys, benchmarks, nace insights

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    We hear a lot about predictive analytics—or “big data” analytics—but how prevalent is its use among employers within their college recruiting function?

    It turns out that the use of predictive analytics was uncommon among employers responding to NACE’s 2017 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey; just 17.9 percent reported employing this tool. However, an additional 19.6 percent indicated they will make use of predictive analytics in the near future.

    This is not surprising as, even among employers that reported using predictive analytics for recruiting, implementation was fairly new, with 48.7 percent using predictive analytics for just a year. Slightly fewer (35.9 percent) reported use for more than three years and 15.4 percent said they have been using predictive analytics for two to three years.

    Use was significantly more common among employers from larger companies. (See Figure 1.) More than one-quarter of employers with more than 10,000 employees tapped into “big data” to support their college recruiting efforts.

    The main uses of predictive analytics for recruiting were to identify target schools (78.9 percent) and project talent acquisition needs for the future (63.2 percent). (See Figure 2.)

    Data collection for NACE’s 2017 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey Report took place from July 19, 2017, to August 1, 2017; 301 firms participated. An executive summary is available on the NACE website. The full report is available to those at participating organizations through MyNACE > Research Reports.

    Figure 1: Use of Predictive Analytics, by Company Size

    Company Size Yes No No, but Will Employ in Near Future
    Less than 1,000 14.8% 74.1% 11.1%
    1,000-2,500 4.5% 90.9% 4.5%
    2,501-5,000 2.6% 76.3% 21.1%
    5,001-10,000 20.0% 51.4% 28.6%
    10,001-20,000 26.5% 58.8% 14.7%
    More than 20,000 26.5% 48.5% 25.0%
    Source: 2017 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey Report, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 2: Use of Predictive Analytics in the Recruiting Process

    Use % of Responses
    Identify target schools 78.9%
    Project talent acquisition needs for the future 63.2%
    Select individual candidates as potential hires 44.7%
    Identify specific academic majors 34.2%
    Determine which candidates will be offered a position 21.1%
    Customize content of job postings 18.4%
    Source: 2017 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey Report, National Association of Colleges and Employers